Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sultan's Delight (Page 509)


  • Date: Sunday, September 28, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

This recipe was part of the effort to make more meat from The Book. I had so much work last weekend that I stayed in on Saturday night and worked all evening. Since I was going to be home for hours and hours, it was the perfect opportunity to braise something! So I picked this lamb recipe and braised the meat Saturday, then finished the dish quickly on Sunday after my run. I would have made this dish earlier -- I love braised meat! -- but I was skeptical about the eggplant. I am not opposed to eggplant, but it's not my favorite. Given the choice between eggplant or no eggplant, I would usually choose the latter. In this preparation though, it was very tasty. The dish had two components: one, the chunks of lamb, which were braised for more than 3 hours on the stove top, and two, a mixture of bechamel sauce with some sheep's milk cheese and smushed up grilled eggplant. (Note: The Book gives broiling as an alternative to grilling the eggplant, and that's what I did since I don't have a grill. The results were quite good.) The lamb was served over the eggplant mixture. The braised lamb was awesome! It was flavorful, and tasty, and falling apart tender. Excellent! The eggplant mixture was also delicious. My hesitancy about eggplant in general is a texture issue, not a flavor issue, so in this preparation, where the eggplant was smushed up anyway, I liked it quite a lot. The bechamel style sauce surrounding the eggplant gave it a nice creaminess and richness, and the sheep's milk cheese contributed an excellent flavor to the dish. Overall, I was extremely pleased with this recipe. The meat was absolutely delicious, and the eggplant went very well with it!

Here is the recipe.

I am sick. Still. It has been more than four weeks now of up and down illness. Some days I feel better. Some days I feel worse. But I haven't yet gotten well. This week, after another steady decline, I decided to take extreme measures. Today I did something I never do: I didn't set an alarm. I slept until I woke up. Unfortunately, when you consistently get up at 7:30am, it's hard to sleep past 7:45am, even without an alarm! I worked from home for most of the day, in my pajamas. I also haven't run since Sunday in an attempt to rest my body. My special gentleman has suggested that perhaps it is about time to seek the help of a medical professional, and I am considering it. But I fear they would just tell me what I already know: I have a nasty cold that would probably get better if I rested more. So I am trying to rest... But this semester so far has not been terribly restful. And I am not seeing a lot of rest on the horizon. But for now, maybe I should go to bed!


Kitchen Vixen said...

Don't you love that, when you know that all you need is rest, but you just can't get off the merry-go-round?? I know exactly what you're talking about.
I love reading your reviews of the recipes in The Book!

Liz C said...

As a mom with over two decades of experience in the trenches (and with a 9yo at home), my rule is if you think you're getting better then start to get worse, it's time to go to the doc. I'm thinking it might be time.

Deniz said...

I am with in agreement with your special gentelman. I would advise going to the doctor. If you have a sinus infection instead of a cold, not going to a doctor/getting medication will just make it worse. I hope you feel better!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Teena,
Like you, I had a tumor (benign, thank goodness)in my early twenties and since then I've been petrified of doctors. If I have a little thing like a cold or a stomach virus I always avoid going.
And this summer, like you I had a bad cold that persisted for weeks. Because of all the other activities in my life, I simply did not have the patience to sit at home and wait until I got better. And because I had to get on with my life I desperately wanted to get better.
The point of all this is that the human body is a very funny thing. When one gets stressed out about getting better the cold just gets worse. Murphy's law, or the strain on your immune system, call it whatever you want. But my advice is to force yourself to stay home as much as possible until you do get better. In my case, sitting at home for about 4 days was not only fun, but worked miracles, as I recovered completely.
As for going to the doctor, well, people who've never had surgery or a serious illness don't exactly understand the anxiety involved, especially if they love you and care about your well being and just want you to get better.
My advice with regard to that is, be picky about doctors. There are a lot of assholes out there who may be good at medicine but simply don't care about your feelings.
Just keep going to one after the other until you find one you're comfortable with. But yes, you must go and I'll tell you why: because you're physically active, your body may have had difficulty adjusting and you're immune system is down. When you start running consistently, you need to eat more. When I used to run 5 miles a day, swim, and lift weights, I got cold like you wouldn't believe.
It wears down you're immune system. Women simply need more protein when they're more active.
Having said all that I'm in excellent health. I have faith, and believe, from how you describe yourself, that you are too. You just need to find a good doctor who'll reassure you of that, which I'm sure he will once you get a good physical examination (which I have faith you'll pass with flying colors). You'll feel so great for having gone, being in good health, and knowing that you have a doctor you can trust that the cold will be gone! I speak from experience.
But like I said, you have to find a good one(which mercifully I did).
Thre are a lot of assholes out there. If one gives you the cold shoulder just flip him the finger (figuratively). And go to the next one. A good doctor patient relationship is especially important for people who have had medical issues growing up.
You are now perfectly healthy and deserve to continue to be so.
As a long time fan I wish you the best.

Teena said...

You all are right -- I should find a doctor that I like! I haven't really invested the time or energy to do that since I moved to Bloomington. I promised my special gentleman that if I don't feel completely better by Thursday that I will go to a doctor. I am not totally recovered yet, but I have felt much better the last couple days. So hopefully Thursday I will wake up feeling great!